Before taking sides in these Friends disputes, look at whose
is way out of whack
Miami, June 22, 2010
In its June 21st story by Karen Everhart, “Gov’t officials critical of nonprofit Friends units,” it is unfortunate that Current framed the story as government officials (big bureaucrat bad) versus friends (small underdog good).
Indeed, in discussing the situation at WLRN in Miami, the story seemed merely to be about an envious or jealous superintendent against a hard-working but well-paid support organization. A misleading image, to be sure.
In reality, it is about so much more than that. It is about mission, responsibility, accountability, programming and — just a little — about fairness.
I’ll let others do the shape-shifting over the issues of mission, responsibility, etc. But consider this from the cited audit committee’s minutes on the issue of fairness:
“Considering the comparatively small size of the staff, the amounts of the salaries are extremely high and possibly disproportionate to the amount of contributions and revenues generated. He pointed out the salary of the Sales Senior representative who in 2005, 2006 and 2007 was paid $259,000, $247,000, and $315,000, respectively, plus other benefits amounting to several thousand dollars.”
Nice numbers, in light of the fact that the FM station is staffed, and is on-air hosted, entirely by part-time employees making around $15 (maybe) per hour with no benefits. And doing a damn good job of it, I might add. The regular Morning Edition host is one of the best I’ve heard anywhere. These are the people who actually make the station sound as good as it does. Oh, well.
I could go on, of course, about the other aspects of this situation, but it would be much too involved. While everyone in the story has salaries up in the six figures, the people who do the actual work are down in the fives. In the end, whatever happens with an operating agreement or other legal understanding between the two parties, the staff will be ignored and the members left out, just as they were in the story.
Web page posted June 24, 2010
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